Former two-time super middleweight world title challenger John Ryder believes that the huge David Benavidez is losing power, draining down to make 168, which will result in him losing to undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez if that fight happens.
The pounds that the 26-year-old Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) is forced to shed in the former of muscle & water weight to artificially keep campaigning at 168, waiting for the payday that may never come against Canelo, ultimately takes a toll on his body.
John feels that Benavidez is putting his body through a lot to keep fighting at 168, and that will cost him if he does face Canelo because he won’t be at full strength for the fight.
Benavidez suspects Canelo is waiting him out until he can no longer make 168, but he says it won’t work. He’ll keep melting down long enough to eventually get the fight against him.
Benavidez seems fixated on Canelo to the point where it’s unhealthy, and it would be better for him to try to clear him out of his head and move on.
If Canelo never fights Benavidez, the Mexican Monster will have needlessly put his body through torture, staying at 168 all these years when he could have been making things happen at 175 or cruiserweight.
Benavidez loses power, draining down to 168
“I think as long as he wants to keep fighting and defending his titles, he’ll keep them. I think it’ll be a tough fight for Canelo, but he’s very evasive and very tactical. He knows what he wants to throw when he wants to throw it,” said Ryder to Boxing Social when asked how he sees a fight between undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo and David Benavidez going.
Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) knows full well what the highly skilled superstar Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) brings to the table, having lost a wide twelve round unanimous decision against him last May at the Estadio Akron in Zapopan, Mexico.
“Benavidez is massive at the weight, huge at the weight. I think he takes something out of himself to make that weight. I don’t think his punch power is potentially there,” said Ryder about Benavidez.
All you have to do is take one look at Benavidez at his weigh-in for his last fight against Demetrius Andrade on November 25th to know that he’s putting himself through the wringer to stay at 168.
His face sunken in, and he looked like a human skeleton on stage. It was pretty jarring to look at how skeletal Benavidez was, and you could think, ‘I hope this guy doesn’t collapse backstage and need medical help.’
“I think the skills of Canelo could really negate Benavidez. I could only see a Canelo win,” said Ryder.
Whether Benavidez likes it or not, there’s going to come a time when he won’t be able to make 168 without it hurting his performance more than it already has, and he’ll have to move up to light heavyweight or, more likely, cruiserweight. You can only be a weight bully for so long before your body gives out you.
Should Benavidez move up his pursuit of Canelo?
“Yeah, potentially. It’s hard to know,” said Ryder when asked if Canelo could vacate some of his 168-lb titles, which would open up the possibility of him fighting for one of them. “I don’t think people are forcing mandatories on him [Canelo]. He’s just fighting, kind of who he wants when he wants.”
What would be interesting is if Ryder gets a rematch with Canelo if he wins his fights in 2024 against Jaime Munguia and whoever else. That would make Benavidez furious to see Ryder getting a rematch while he’s bypassed, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
If Benavidez moved up to cruiserweight, where some believe he belongs, he could likely challenge IBF champion Jai Opetaia straightaway in his first fight in that weight class without needing to work his way into a title shot.
“It’s a great time to be a super middleweight fighter. That’s the way it has been with Canelo having the titles. It’s kind of making all the other fighters fight each other. So, I think it’s a good thing for boxing that the best are fighting the best,” said Ryder.
“We’re here now; we got the date confirmed. January 27th in Phoenix, Arizona. I can’t wait. It’s a huge fight for me, especially after the Canelo fight. I’m back at the level I’ve been operating at,” said Ryder about his next fight against Jaime Munguia.
Ryder will be the underdog against the unbeaten former WBO junior middleweight champion Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs), and he’s been picked out by the Mexican fighter’s management to allow the public to compare his performance against him to that of Canelo.
It would be better for Munguia to fight someone who hasn’t been beaten six times like Ryder, but they probably don’t want to take any chances against an unbeaten fighter like David Morrell or Diego Pacheco.